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Brain Imaging of Autism Biomarker

Join a Research Study: Autism Spectrum Disorders

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-435-8982 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

This research study seeks to detect and measure an immune biomarker in the brain. Researchers will compare the brain scans of those with Autism to those without Autism.

The causes of autism are not known, but previous research has suggested an association between autism and immune changes in the brain. This study proposes to determine whether the emerging evidence and role of neuroimmune activation (as a biomarker in the brain) will indicate if there are greater immune changes in persons with autism.

This outpatient research study includes 2-4 outpatient visits of 2-6 hours each. There is an initial screening appointment that includes a physical examination, psychological examination, medical history, mood and behavior questions, and blood and urine tests. The research study includes a baseline MRI brain scan, a PET brain scan (with the administration of a drug that attaches to a brain protein), and a follow-up visit to provide a final blood sample. Eligibility criteria includes: adults ages 18-45; a diagnosis of Autism, Asperger Syndrome, or an Autism Spectrum Disorder; and good health (without a serious medical condition.)

There is no cost to participate. Compensation is provided for participation. Transportation may be provided.